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Occupational stress management for UK construction professionals: Understanding the causes and strategies for improvement

Saheed O. Ajayi (School of Built Environment and Engineering, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK)
William Jones (Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK)
Maria Unuigbe (Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 3 May 2019

Issue publication date: 5 August 2019




The increasing awareness of stress as an issue in the construction industry, and the increased realisation of the more effective approach of preventing stress as opposed to treating mental health, has placed a great responsibility on industries that rely heavily on the performance of their workforce. In line with this, this paper aims to investigate the causes of stress and the best strategies for improving professional resilience and stress management proficiency in the construction industry.


Using exploratory sequential mixed method research design, the top factors that cause stress, mitigate stress and build resilience are identified and discussed.


The findings show thematic similarities in the causes of stress, by displaying a reoccurring theme relating to the quality and lack of information, as well as poor communication among the construction professionals. This implies that poor collaboration and “over-the-wall syndrome” of the construction industry does not only contribute to defective output and reworks, it also has significant impacts on the health and well-being of the professionals. Recommendations are made on how to mitigate stress in the industry, by addressing its root-causes and implementing the identified mitigation strategies. This includes a realistic approach to budgeting and project duration, as well as improved communication and collaboration.


Finding of this study could help in mitigating stress and mental health concerns that are currently plaguing the construction industry.



Ajayi, S.O., Jones, W. and Unuigbe, M. (2019), "Occupational stress management for UK construction professionals: Understanding the causes and strategies for improvement", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 819-832.



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